Football season is almost here, and while practices have started it’s important to avoid injuries to your young athlete’s smile safe. Seeing as football is a contact sport that requires plenty of body padding, it’s also vital to use equipment that protects the mouth.
Getting Your Head in the Game
During a football game, tackles and other physical confrontations may cause jaw fractures, dislocations, or tooth damage. A mouthguard is extremely effective at protecting teeth, the tongue and the jaw. This device should be resilient, feel comfortable in the mouth and be easy to clean. A custom-fit device provides the best protection and can be molded by your dentist.
Mouthguards and Braces
Junior high and high school athletes are in a prime stage to be wearing braces. The sharp metal can cause permanent dental injuries and harm to the lips and tongue upon impact during a football tackle. Besides avoiding cuts in the mouth, wearing a mouthguard protects the braces from damage. This saves expensive orthodontic repair bills. There are certain models designed especially to accommodate braces. These are made of flexible materials that allow the device to move and not become stuck in the metal.
Other Dental Care Advice
Since a mouthguard becomes filled with saliva, which contains high levels of bacteria, it is essential to keep the device clean. A dirty device can expose an athlete to infections and other oral issues. To receive maximum protection and to avoid unsanitary conditions, it is vital to understand how often a mouthguard should be cleaned and replaced. A mouthguard can only take care of the mouth if it is in good condition. A mouthguard should be sanitized daily. Commercial soaking solutions line store shelves and simplify the cleaning process. If a mouthguard becomes sharp or distorted in shape, it should be replaced. It is wise to keep the item away from heat as well. If it is made of plastic, warm temperatures may melt the material.
According to the ADA, mouth guards prevent approximately 200,000 injuries to football players. Being professionally fit for this type of device is a smart idea. Our expert staff will be happy to discuss all options and other useful oral care tips to keep your teen athlete’s smile safe and looking great. Contact us today!